This story was written by Mattie Branson-Meyer, an AmeriCorps member with College Possible Milwaukee.
On Friday, March 18, the College Possible Milwaukee team gathered for their first in-person retreat since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coinciding with AmeriCorps week, the retreat celebrated the year’s work so far through resume workshops, self-reflection and strength assessments, and team-building exercises.
In the morning, the College Possible team gathered in their Schlitz Park office to begin the day with some relaxation, welcoming messages from the leadership team, and of course, breakfast treats. The room buzzed with excitement and low conversation as AmeriCorps members and the leadership team greeted each other and settled in for the day’s activities. The events kicked off with an all-team meeting led by Senior Program Coordinator Molly Moore, who organized and planned the entire retreat as well. From there, the team split into small groups consisting of all positions — high school coaches, college coaches and leadership — to get to know one another better and prepare for later breakout sessions.
After a short break, each small group of AmeriCorps members joined individual sessions led by members of the leadership team. Molly Moore, Kevin Curley and Laura Klinger led an insightful session surrounding the HIGH5 Strengths Assessment. Here, the group discussed individual strengths, how to utilize them, and what support was needed for each of the strength types. This session helped us to ground into our work and uplift our individual assets. Brittany Hartl, Ashley Miner and Ben Dubielak led a session on resumes and speaking powerfully about our service. Together, we celebrated the next steps of AmeriCorps members, discussed the many aspects and responsibilities of our work with College Possible, and crafted our own elevator pitches. Finally, Amanda Albert led each small group in team-building activities, allowing AmeriCorps members across positions to bond further.
The rest of the day was spent socializing, sharing gratitude, and testing the team’s knowledge of co-workers through a rousing game of Jeopardy. Overall, the spring retreat was a wonderful moment of coming together — creating new friendships and expanding on old — and a glimpse of the strong community that we have forged throughout the year.